Friday, May 2, 2014

peaches for father francis/monsieur le curé review

Ah, spring.  Moody, angsty weather with sunshine one day and miserable drizzles the next.  In honor of the chill and gloom this week, a review! A book to stay warm inside with (or enjoy outside, depending on the weather's mood) and read in your most comfortable chair: Peaches for Father Francis by Joanne Harris.

Basic plot:Vianne Rocher, roamer and chocolate maker, receives a letter from an old friend, who died years earlier.  She decides to head back to the small town of Lansquenet with her two daughters.  It's been eight years since she's been back, and as she meets with her old friends and neighbors, she discovers that there are newcomers - an intriguing community of North Africans - and someone has tried to burn down her old chocolate shop.

On a scale from 1 to Cripplingly Depressing: 3.5 - only because of the surprisingly (really) dark and sort of violent turn towards the end of the book. (Does that count as a spoiler?) Until then, I would have given it a 1.5.

Memories from reading: This is one I listened to most in the morning and at the end of the day, and, oddly enough, in the rain.  I have several memories of walking the rest of the way to work with the hood of my raincoat up, earbuds firmly in my ears and umbrella whipping around my head.

Favorite characters: Ammi/Enmi, a fantastic older character in the community who sneaks macaroons during Ramadan and cackles (another downside to the audiobook - I can't find the spelling of her name, have googled and given up) and Mea, with her pink rain boots.

Weapon of Choice: Audiobook again! I really enjoyed the accents of the two narrators - I'm learning more and more that a good narrator can carry a book and a bad one can kill it.  I finally experienced with this audiobook what I've experienced with a physical book - I stayed up late to finish the book.  I hadn't read the other books, but this one made me want to go back into the series.

Other titles by this author: 
The Girl With No Shadow
Blackberry Wine
Five Quarters of the Orange
Holy Fools
Gentlemen and Players

Have you read any books in this series? Any by Joanne Harris? What did you think?

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